Code Smoothie

Losing my computer

As if marking the greatness of a civilization, my small knot of neurons and fat feels glorious making meaning, telling a story, or feeling something about its adventures and experiences. I treasure my thoughts, but then I tend to wallow in them. I create spaces to be by myself, to shut myself away, to feel, appraise, correct, and find myself. I try to firewall the relatively familiar and treacherous playground that is me. I don’t like forgetting, and I remember myself in order to preserve my humanity.

In recognition of my biological memory limits, I’ve recorded things elsewhere and considered those physical records as extensions of my mind. I’ve developed fragments of my tangible mind on human inventions in an attempt to grow my mind. I had stored in my laptop some existential scribblings, photos taken during a large wildfire, and social media data from deleted accounts.

I lost my five-year-old laptop early April.1 And recently, losing my files felt like losing my familiar mental playground.

Perhaps this is a lesson in resilience. Maybe I’ll back up my data better. But if I too fastidiously hoard and preserve, I’ll sacrifice my interactions with the world and more. My humanity is not just records in my own mind or even society’s; it’s also comes from the choice of victory after such a failure as forgetting. Sometimes being a fault-tolerant human means you can’t take yourself too seriously and have to move on.

  1. I think my laptop was stolen by visitors to my school.